|Unlike more conservative parties, white elephant gift exchanges are all about having fun, and finding the best, most outrageous gift possible. A white elephant party, along with its cousins the Dirty Santa party and the Yankee Swap, are occasions that bring people together for a very special kind of gift exchange, full of amateur strategizing, playful rivalries, and a ton of laughs.
History states that white elephant gifts were originally grandiose, however burdensome gifts given to an adversary or enemy. The first white elephant gift is purported to have been from the King of Siam, who gave albino elephants to people that upset him, in hopes that the maintenance expenses your be too great for them to handle. Even though you probably won't be taking an endangered animal species to your white elephant party, you can still make a huge splash.
Great white elephant gift ideas are usually funny, and should be useful in the home or office. Some people use Dirty Santa parties and the like to unload, or re-gift, items that they received and have no use for. Others look at white elephant parties as an opportunity to shop for something absolutely outrageous, that they would never need to buy otherwise. Whether you aim for over the top, or under the radar, white elephant gifts are a great reason to meet up with friends and laugh the night away.